When it come to summer activities, making homemade jam is a family favourite. Here’s our secret – Emma’s father, Gary is a master jam maker with his very own fruit garden!
Gary has been making homemade jam for his bed and breakfast Treverbyn House in Padstow for over twenty years.
Set in beautiful gardens, with a terrace overlooking the estuary with stunning views across to Rock, Treverbyn is a pretty special place to eat breakfast and enjoy Gary’s range of homemade jams.
The jams and marmalades are delicious, as his years of regular guests will testify. From strawberry and gooseberry to blackberry and apple, apple and ginger to raspberry and blackcurrant, Gary grows the fruit in his own fruit garden and makes everything on site in his kitchen. So he has his own garden to jar little jam factory!
We are very lucky that he supplies Treseren so we can treat our guests for their wedding breakfasts during their stay.
Gary taught Emma to make jams when she ran her own B & B in Padstow and now he is getting the next generation involved. On a recent trip to Padstow to see her grandad, our daughter Georgia was inspired to join in the fun making some delicious blackcurrant jam.
We were treated to a lovely breakfast, then it was time to go to the fruit gardens to pick the blackcurrants for the jam.
Gary has lots of fruit trees with apples and plumbs aplenty and cultivates organically grown blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries and these gorgeous blackcurrants, bursting with flavour.
Gary’s trusted book of homemade jam making recipes is a family heirloom. He has so much experience with making jams though, that he is always adapting the recipes as he goes. So it’s a bit hard to keep up some times! There are of course lots of tips and tricks.
A knob of butter once the jam is cooking reduces any ‘scum’ that collects on the surface of the boil.
And the saucer test is a brilliant indication of whether the jam has got to the right setting temperature.
A test spoonful goes in the fridge for a couple of minutes, and when you hold it up you can see if it ‘drags’ and is starting to set. Of course you don’t want it to be runny, but you don’t want a very hard jam either. Gary often labels his jars with ‘G set’. Good set, or ‘Gary set’ as you prefer. Of course, this is the perfect taste testing saucer too!
Once you have the perfect set, the jars are filled and the jam is good to go.
Thanks, Grandad. What fun we had!